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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 04-22-09, 07:17 PM   #1
baron von trail 
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RR Crossing Crash

Crashed the bike I call the "pick-up truck" the other day while crossing some RR tracks. These tracks were not perpendicular to the road (they did not cross the road at a 90 degree angle), rather these tracks ran across the road at about a 45 degree angle. Not good. The track sucked in my front tire, and I flew off over the side.

My feet were cleated in the pedals, so the results here are not good. I fell right on my hip and broke my femur, up by the neck. It broke in several pieces at and below the knuckle that goes into the hip socket. They called it a comminuted femur fracture. Nice.

Two hours of surgery and 4 pins later, I am back at home. The accident happened on the 20th, surgery was yesterday, and today I sit here typing, well medicated, but in reasonable comfort. Modern medicine is no small wonder. I tell ya.

I still run some risk. If blood fails to reach the head, then it will die and I will need replacement surgery. However, my Dr said that my bone was pretty strong and easy to work with. He sounded pretty confident with the results when he spoke to me.

Recovery is not too bad. I can not put anymore that 25% of my weight on it for 2 weeks. At best I will be able to ramp up the load a little, but the recoop time is going to be 6 weeks.

Worst: Since I can not risk having a shock to the leg for a while Dr's orders are no biking for 3 months. I can ride a stationary, however, within only a few short weeks. That's the only upside.
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Old 04-22-09, 07:20 PM   #2
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Suck.
Hope you heal well and quickly.
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Old 04-22-09, 07:21 PM   #3
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Sound like much pain.
Heal fast.
Take it very very slow.

Take a pic of the track sometime.
I ride over many of them.
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Old 04-22-09, 07:52 PM   #4
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Stationary/trainer-riding with TV, radio, music sounds like the ticket, when you are able to.

Note from a nurse: If you're taking opiate pain meds, increase your fiber and fluid intake.

Do you have enough metal in your leg to set off airport alarms?
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Old 04-22-09, 07:56 PM   #5
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Wow, bummer. Heal up fast and I hope you don't have any issues.
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Old 04-22-09, 07:56 PM   #6
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Ouch man, that sounds painful. Take it easy, and enjoy the break (no pun intended).
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Old 04-22-09, 08:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by baron von trail View Post
... I still run some risk. If blood fails to reach the head, then it will die and I will need replacement surgery. ...
Heal quickly.

But I must say, I had to reread your post again. First reading of the above made me think about how they would manage to cut of your entire head and just who's head they would use for a replacement.
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Old 04-22-09, 08:15 PM   #8
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you seem to be taking it in stride. with a good attitude like that you'll be better soon. keep your head up.
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Old 04-22-09, 08:25 PM   #9
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Very sorry to hear it, recover soon.

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Old 04-22-09, 08:26 PM   #10
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HOLY CRAP! THAT SUCKS!

Your recovery doesn't sound as bad as a friend's broken kneecap. She was on morphine for 2 days. If she uses her leg muscles for anything she runs the risk of ripping the kneecap apart again.

Rest up. Stay off the trainer for now, man. It'll be there when you heal up. You've got a mental challenge as well as a physical one. You sound in good spirits which I find remarkeable!
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Old 04-22-09, 08:37 PM   #11
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Get well soon!

PS- opiates are hardly modern medicine!
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Old 04-22-09, 08:57 PM   #12
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Thanks all. I must say this has been quite a shock. Healthy as a horse and gaining momentum, looking forward to a strong, hard riding summer. To Bang! Out of action for X number of months.

I'm sure glad I did all that riding in the winter. That somehow makes putting up with the lost spring a little more do-able.

Right now I am starting to sniffle, which sort of stinks. I was exposed to a lot of bugs in the hospital. Since I haven't had a cold in years, I hate to get one now after surgery for sure.

Pins are supposedly small. I am set to see the xrays and stuff next week when the staples come out. I am a little curious as to what all we have here. As time passes, I would like to see. But, for the past two days, I just fixated on going home. Hospitals suck!
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Old 04-22-09, 08:58 PM   #13
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Wow, that's bad news - hope you heal well and soon!
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Old 04-22-09, 09:07 PM   #14
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Dayum!

Sounds like it's the pedals that really did you in. That's why I'm hesitant to use straps or clipless pedals. It still sounds like you would've taken a bad tumble regardless, but with your feet locked in place, there was nothing stopping your hip and leg from taking the brunt of the fall.

I'm glad you and and your doctor are optimistic about this. If everything goes well you'll be back on the bike just in time for summer.
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Old 04-22-09, 09:19 PM   #15
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Ow, that's terrible. Hope your recovery is swift! I will take extra care crossing the tracks I live near on my commute - same angle as you mention.
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Old 04-22-09, 09:48 PM   #16
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Rest up. It's strange, isn't it, how something so sudden can make the difference between everything that came before and everything that comes after.

On the other hand, I'll admit I feel better for not wearing clipless pedals; the idea of being locked to a falling bike has never sat well with me.

It also reminds me of something else I've thought of: no matter how little riding one does, it's still a gift to be able to ride at all. This doesn't refer to you, but if given the choice between riding 10000 miles one year and not being able to ride for the next nine and riding 1000 miles a year, each year, for 10 years, I'd gladly pick the second.
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Old 04-22-09, 09:52 PM   #17
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Wow, sounds pretty serious. Hopefully after it heals you won't have lingering pain around your hip.

Sounds a lot like something I did the other day, but I was going from grass back to the MUP on my road bike. Didn't take it a 90 deg angle and my front wheel fell into the gap and I started to go over sideways. I was also cleated in but I ripped my foot out and broke the metal clip on the pedal, so I was able to catch myself with that foot...and after hearing your results, thank goodness I did.

Again, hope all goes well and certainly hope you don't end up needing another surgery.
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Old 04-22-09, 10:29 PM   #18
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you seem to be taking it in stride. with a good attitude like that you'll be better soon. keep your head up.
Well that is for sure but 3 MONTHS?!?!?! O-man, I don't know what to say to that! I am glad you sound OK and get well fast, Ron.
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Old 04-22-09, 10:46 PM   #19
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War wounds!!!

Hope you have a stack of good books!
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Old 04-22-09, 11:43 PM   #20
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Don't forget, chics dig scars!

Seriously, I am glad you are on the road to recovery. I'd bet the doctors are wrong about how long it will take- you'll be back at it sooner than they think!

When you have the courage to look, let us know how your bike fared. Come to think of it, how was the bike cared for during your trip and stay in the hospital?
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Old 04-22-09, 11:46 PM   #21
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I hope you make a swift and complete recovery.

Train tracks are treacherous, that's for sure. I've taken two hard falls in the last four years, and both were due to tracks. You'd think I'd learn, but you deal with tracks many times a week, and you get complacent, and then....
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Old 04-23-09, 12:22 AM   #22
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baron von trail- take it easy on yourself during recovery- calcium supplements. and think about maximizing blood flow to the capillaries, i take Ginko to aid this.

glad to hear it wasn't worse. mine have been no weight bearing at all for 3 months, i wish i had your doctors doing the pinning. I live with the potential hip necrosis issue and it sucks. may you be able to ride for many years to come.
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Old 04-23-09, 12:37 AM   #23
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woah! That SUCKS!
Here is to a fast recovery..!
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Old 04-23-09, 01:49 AM   #24
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I always take RR tracks at a 90 degree angle. I may have to do the "Serpentine Shel" routine to get over them, but I won't take them at an angle. Sometimes I have to wait for traffic behind me to clear, which is a pain, but worth it.
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Old 04-23-09, 03:20 AM   #25
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I've crossed the same tracks dozens of times with no issue. Always hit them at 90 deg before. I was not paying attention this time. That's all it takes: one time.

Bike faired well. It's a sturdy old Schwinn Hybrid. The squad took it to hospital for me and GF's uncle with a pick-up truck took her to hospital to visit me. He took the bike home for us.

I had no other injuries. No scratches even. Serious nature of injury was due to pedal condition, I think. I have taken similar wipes in distant past while not clipped in and rolled out of it with no harm done. Having locked in feet left me a sitting duck.

Cell phone: The cell was a savior. After smacking the earth, I picked myself back up, using the bike as a crutch. But, there was no way that I was going anywhere. I couldn't put any weight on the leg and was pretty much stuck in one spot. I had the cell on board and used it to call the squad. They got there pretty quick -- 5 minutes or less.

Cell came in handy later, too, when I called GF from back of squad and my boss from ER. Speaking boss, no work for 2 weeks minimum. It is a good thing that we are slow right now.

No biking is a drag, but I will get plenty of exercise just moving around on the crutches. Hos said they do not even use crutches much these days because most people are not fit enough to manipulate themselves with them. I am sure glad not to be in a Wheelchair.
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